Hunters & Browsers
Push vs. Pull
Reach & Frequency
There are commercial web sites in San Antonio that cost their sponsors as little as $30 per month. There are sites that cost almost a quarter of a million dollars for initial development. Your Internet marketing strategy will probably fall somewhere in between. Here are some general recommendations:
Take baby steps: Start out with a basic personal account to become acquainted with the Internet. Move onto an uncomplicated web page that leaves room for expansion to test your ideas and work out the kinks. Expand as you learn.
Run the numbers: Set goals for your Internet presence and figure out how much you can afford to spend. If your web venture costs $3,000 per year, how many sales or leads will you need to justify the cost?
Plan to invest time: No one knows your business as well as you do and web pages that are created in a vacuum do not do well. You must get involved and stay involved.
Budget for promotion and updates: The Internet is a living thing and your web page should be refreshed frequently if you want to continue to attract customers. State of the art from six months ago looks frumpy today. Make sure that you have money and time set aside to promote to site. Include your e-mail and web address in your traditional advertising and promotional media, to include letterhead and stationery.
Be patient: As with any promotion the Internet takes time. Don't expect to see results for at least three to six months.
Do it yourself? Running a web server is expensive and impractical for most businesses. It will almost always be cheaper and more reliable to contract this out. You can design your own web pages. Set aside 30-40 hours to learn Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) plus another week to design your site. Factor in more time for testing, updates and promotion. Consider hidden costs. Will you have to upgrade your computer? Buy a scanner? Purchase graphic and HTML editing software? If you are short of cash and long on time, computer savvy, have a good design eye and don't need a sophisticated web presence, give it a try. Most people find it cheaper in the long run to contract out web design.
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